The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

October 21, 2012

WNY Inter County Assoc. meets in Albion

Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — Representatives from various Western New York counties came to The Pillars Estates Friday to discuss joint measures they all support and receive an update on what is likely to happen in Albany following the election.

The Inter County Association of Western New York contains members from 19 counties. They share many of the same concerns — the cost of governing, interest in enticing business and mandate relief.

That last issue, one that is focused on in seemingly every budget discussion across the state, is one that must continue to be pressed, Patrick Cummings, who serves as a legal counsel to the New York State Association of Counties, told the group.

“There’s strong rumors (that the state legislature) will come back in late November and December to vote on a legislative pay increase increase in exchange for Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo’s requests,” Cummings said. “What has not been mentions is further mandate relief ... we have to keep the pressure up.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley, who spoke at the meeting following Rep. Kathy Hochul’s appearance, confirmed that the legislature may come back later this year, with most members enticed by their self-interest.

“I’m hearing that we will have a single bill — with minimum wage increases, mandate relief, medical marijuana and a pay raise for legislators,” said Hawley, who predicted later that the measure would easily pass the Democratic-held Assembly but need significant tweaking to pass the Republican-held Senate.

Hochul, stopping in before heading to an event headlined by President Bill Clinton, spoke on the need for an extension to the Farm Bill, but also focused on local efforts. Hochul said that she was impressed by the cross-county push for broadband access expansion in Orleans and Niagara counties.

“We stand up for our people in our communities,” Hochul, formerly the Erie County Clerk, said. “I know so much more can be achieved when we work together.”

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